By Waylon Bailey
COVINGTON, La. – “What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer!”
I learned to sing the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” as a child and teenager in church. I have never forgotten the words, especially these words, “What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”
It is a privilege to pray–both to take our personal needs to God and to pray for others. As I write this, I have just had the privilege to join with one of the men of our church in praying for his wife.
Prayer for others is a great privilege. It is also a Christian obligation.
While we certainly pray for ourselves and for those close to us, we also have a responsibility to pray for the church and its mission around the world. Paul told the church to pray for all the saints, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
Paul asked the church at Colossae to pray for him and his work. “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should” (Colossians 4:3-4).
Would you join me in praying for the people around you? Would you also pray for the work of the church worldwide?
“As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right” (1 Samuel 12:23).
Waylon Bailey is pastor of First Baptist Church in Covington. This editorial first appeared on his blog.